Demolitions for the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor grows Resentment among the Locals

The Kashi Vishwanath Precinct Development Project is a 600 crore construction project spread over 43,636 sq. km aimed at building a 50 feet wide corridor that will link the Kashi Vishwanath temple to the Ganga river. The locals have been told that the demolitions are being carried out to decongest the area and give pilgrims a swift access to one of the holiest Hindu temples.


Amidst the unprecedented demolition drives, what is being left unattended is the misery of thousands of affected masses who are losing their livelihoods and are being pushed to a state of destitution, as can be seen in the video. Centuries-old temples, houses and shops are being razed with short notice periods and a meagre compensation of one lakh rupees which in no means will help them survive. The shopkeepers are strongly protesting against this unfair act and have put banners outside their shops that say “Ek hi Bhool, Kamal Ka phool. Modiji ek kaam karo, pehle roti ka intejaam karo fir humko berojgar karo” (The only mistake is that we voted for the Lotus which represents the BJP. Mr. Modi please arrange for our food before making us unemployed). They are demanding to get rehabilitated and be provided with alternative sources of income before destroying their years of hard-work.

Further, there is a fear of another Babri Masjid like disaster to happen in Kashi where the temple shares its wall with the 17th century Gyanvapi mosque. Nobody can forget the famous Hindutva slogan after the demolition of Babri Masjid- ‘ye to bas ek jhanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baaki hai’ (this is just a trailer, Kashi and Mathura are still to come) where Kashi refers to the Gyanvapi mosque. This has created communal tensions.

The corridor is destroying the essence of Varanasi; its cultural heritage and identity. It is creating communal polarisation and filling people with anger and resentment.